9780385518260

Reflections on the Revolution In Europe

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385518260

  • ISBN10:

    0385518269

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-07-28
  • Publisher: Doubleday
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Summary

Can you have the same Europe with different people in it? The answer, says Christopher Caldwell, is no. Europe has undergone a demographic revolution it never expected. A half century of mass immigration has failed to produce anything resembling an American-style melting pot. By overestimating its need for immigrant labor and underestimating the culture-shaping potential of religion, Europe has trapped itself in a problem to which it has no obvious solution. Christopher Caldwell has been reporting on the politics and culture of Islam in Europe for more than a decade. His deeply researched and insightful new book reveals a paradox. Since World War II, mass immigration has been made possible by Europe's enforcement of secularism, tolerance, and equality. But when immigrants arrive, they are not required to adopt those values. And they are disinclined to, since they already have values of their own. Muslims dominate or nearly dominate important European cities, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Strasbourg and Marseille, the Paris suburbs and East London. Islam has challenged the European way of life at every turn, becoming, in effect, an "adversary culture." The result? In Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Caldwell reveals the anger of natives and newcomers alike. He describes guest worker programs that far outlasted their economic justifications, and asylum policies that have served illegal immigrants better than refugees. He exposes the strange ways in which welfare states interact with Third World customs, the anti-Americanism that brings European natives and Muslim newcomers together, and the arguments over women and sex that drive them apart. He considers the appeal of sharia, resistance, and jihad to a second generation that is more alienated from Europe than the first, and addresses a crisis of faith among native Europeans that leaves them with a weak hand as they confront the claims of newcomers. As increasingly assertive immigrant populations shape the continent, Caldwell writes, the foundations of European culture and civilization are being challenged and replaced. Reflections on the Revolution in Europe is destined to become the classic work on how Muslim immigration permanently reshaped the West. www.doubleday.com

Author Biography

CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL is a columnist for the Financial Times, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and a senior editor at The Weekly Standard. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Excerpts

Chapter 1: Rivers of Blood

The rights and wrongs of Enoch Powell--How much immigration is there?--Muslim immigration--Europe's population problem--Civilization and decadence-- Diversity is overrated--Can you have the same Europe with different people?

Western Europe became a multiethnic society in a fit of absence of mind. Mass immigration began--with little public debate, it would later be stressed--in the decade after the Second World War. Industries and government in Britain, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia set up programs to recruit manpower to their booming postwar economies. They invited immigrants. Some of the newcomers took positions, particularly in heavy industry, that now look enviably secure and well-paid. But others worked in the hardest, most thankless, and most dangerous occupations that European industry had to offer. Many had been loyal colonial subjects, and had even borne arms for European powers.

Europe became a destination for immigration as a result of consensus among its political and commercial elites. Those elites, to the extent they thought about the long-term consequences at all, made certain assumptions: Immigrants would be few in number. Since they were coming to fill short-term gaps in the labor force, most would stay in Europe only temporarily. Some might stay longer. No one assumed they would ever be eligible for welfare. That they would retain the habits and cultures of southern villages, clans, marketplaces, and mosques was a thought too bizarre to entertain.

Almost all of the assumptions with which mass immigration began proved false. As soon as they did, Europe's welcome to the world's poor was withdrawn--at first ambiguously, through the oratory of a few firebrand politicians in the 1960s, then explicitly through hard-line legislation against immigration in the 1970s. Decade in, decade out, the sentiment of Western European publics, as measured by opinion polls, has been resolutely opposed to mass immigration. But that is the beginning, not the end of our story. The revocation of Europe's invitation to immigrants, no matter how explicit it became, did little to stem their arrival. As the years passed, immigration to Europe accelerated. At no point were Europeans invited to assess its long-term costs and benefits.


The rights and wrongs of Enoch Powell


On April 20, 1968, two weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race riots that it sparked in Washington and other U.S. cities, the British Tory parliamentarian Enoch Powell made a speech at the Midland Hotel in Birmingham that has haunted the European political imagination ever since. Powell was talking about the arrival, modest up to that point, of "coloured" former colonial subjects, primarily from the Indian subcontinent but also from the Caribbean. At the time, this migration had changed the face of only a very limited number of urban neighborhoods. Powell implied that the long-term consequence would be ghettoes like the ones in America that were burning as he spoke. "We must be mad," he said, "literally mad, as a nation, to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre." Citing the poet Virgil, Powell warned, "I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'"

Half a year later, in the course of an even more ominous speech to the Rotary Club of London, he warned that, should immigration proceed at the current pace,

"the urban part of whole towns and cities in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the Home Counties would be preponderantly or exclusively Afro-Asian in population. There would be several Washingtons in England. From those whole areas the indigenous population, the people of England, who fondly imagine that this is their

Excerpted from Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West by Christopher Caldwell
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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